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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: Team Loaded 804 17u (4/30/19)

  Acknowledged as one of Richmond, VA’s renowned AAU grassroots organizations, it’s safe to say most know plenty about Team Loaded when it comes to talks about travel ball. The program features many different teams of age divisions and produces next-level talent on a yearly basis. On Tuesday night, I made an evening drive down to the U-Turn Sports Performance Academy facility (Henrico...

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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: Higher Level Sports Girls 17u (4/23/19)

Twitter: @HLSGirlsBBall Instagram: @higherlevelgirlsbball   As this ‘open gym tour’ continues for AAU hoops, it feels like I’ve spent most of my time up in Northern Virginia (NOVA) thus far; an area containing many talented programs. I found myself back in Manassas, VA on Tuesday evening to swing by the ladies 17u squad of Higher Level Sports. Their 90-minute practice once again displayed...

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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: Team Flight 16u

Twitter: @TeamFlightVA Instagram: @teamflightva   Ever since this past fall, I’ve held a good connection with the basketball program at Prince George High School (Prince George, VA) and ran into the Royals’ junior-varsity head coach, Kristian Brown, a couple of weeks ago at a Saturday event. During the exchange, I learned that Coach Brown also serves as a coach/program director of Team...

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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: Team NOVA Hoyas 17u (4/13/19)

Twitter: @TeamNovaHoops Instagram: @teamnovahoyas   It’s been a productive start to this ‘AAU open gym tour.’ I finished off this past week with an early Saturday morning stop in the Northern Virginia region once again; pulling into the parking lot of Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School (SJPG) in the town of Dumfries. I already had a good feel for Team NOVA Hoyas 17u in knowing...

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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: Higher Level 17u Premier (4/11/19)

Twitter: @HigherLevelSports Instagram: @higher_level_aau   I decided to continue my ‘AAU open gym tour’ with another visit up North in the Manassas, VA area to check out Higher Level 17u, after seeing their 16u squad last month. It turns out that two separate teams actually make up the 17u bunch; something I didn’t know prior to Thursday evening. Regardless, I guess one could say that the...

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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: Higher Level 17u Elite (4/11/19)

Twitter: @HigherLevelAAU Instagram: @higher_level_aau   I decided to continue my ‘AAU open gym tour’ with another visit up North in the Manassas, VA area to check out Higher Level 17u, after seeing their 16u squad last month. It turns out that two separate teams actually make up the 17u bunch; something I didn’t know prior to Thursday evening. Regardless, I guess one could say that the...

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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: VA Havoc 15u (4/2/19)

Twitter: @VAHavoc Instagram: @vahavoc   During the high school season, I remember interviewing and conducting articles on a few 2019 players who touched upon how they had spent the previous spring/summer playing in the VA Havoc AAU program. Their words reflected nothing short of praise about the organization, as they explained it playing a role conducive to their overall development and...

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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: District WAWG 17u (3/30/19)

Twitter: @UAADistrictWAWG Instagram: @uaadistrictwawg   A new face in the Under Armour Association (UAA) circuit, I definitely recommend folks to get familiar with the District WAWG program, if they have not already. Director Stefan Welsh, a former Arkansas Razorbacks basketball standout and current head varsity coach of Woodside High School (Newport News, VA), has put in the work to...

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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: District WAWG 16u (3/30/19)

Twitter: @UAADistrictWAWG Instagram: @uaadistrictwawg   A new face in the Under Armour Association (UAA) circuit, I definitely recommend folks to get familiar with the District WAWG program, if they have not already. Director Stefan Welsh, a former Arkansas Razorbacks basketball standout and current head varsity coach of Woodside High School (Newport News, VA), has put in the work to...

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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: Team Richmond Garner Road 17u Choice (3/26/19)

  I obviously wasn’t around this type of business last year, but nevertheless can recall hearing great things stated about the Team Richmond Garner Road (TRGR) AAU program. After watching plenty of their 2019 players perform well throughout this recently-concluded high school season, my interest rose higher to find out more about the organization in this ‘open gym tour.’ It turns out that...

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Phenom Hoops AAU Open Gym Tour: Higher Level 16u (3/24/19)

Twitter: @HigherLevelAAU Instagram: @higher_level_aau   Another school season is in the books and travel basketball has now officially began for this month of March and onward. After witnessing plenty of intense matchups and memorable moments during the winter, I can’t wait to see what this spring has in store. Quite a few established travel/AAU programs make up regions of Virginia, so I...

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Charlotte Christian vs. Ardrey Kell Game Recap

Game Recap: Charlotte Christian vs. Ardrey Kell Charlotte Christian 73 – Ardrey Kell 60 Game Recap Both teams made small runs to start the first quarter, going back and forth.  Seth Bennett for Charlotte Christian came out ready to play, getting his team out early, hitting three’s and attacking the basket.  Ardrey Kell struggled in the second quarter, allowing Charlotte Christian to get out to a...

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Carmel Christian vs. Comenius Game Recap

Game Recap: Carmel Christian vs. Comenius Final Carmel Christian 90 – Comenius 49 In the first quarter, it seemed like both teams were looking to play their style of offense and defense, figuring each other out.  In doing so, both started out slow in the first half.  Comenius took advantage early against the full court press but Carmel Christian picked it up a notch, creating turnovers and...

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Burlington Christian vs. Northside Christian

Burlington Christian vs. Northside Christian   There was a lot of buzz in Burlington on Monday evening for the showdown between the hometown Royals and the Knights of Northside Christian Academy. NCA has been battletested multiple times throughout their early-season schedule, already matching up against high-level opponents on a frequent basis and working out the kinks while still...

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Phenom Hoop Report open gym tour – Oscar Smith High School

With junior guard Andre Bottoms leading the way, the Oscar Smith Tigers keep piling up wins! Oscar Smith Tigers are 43-9 the last two seasons with Andre Bottoms as their starting point guard.  An impressive record given the fact he’s done that with several roster changes each of the last two seasons as a result of graduation and the loss each year of the teams’ “go to” player.  The highly...

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#PhenomOpenGymTour: West Charlotte High School

2017-18 Record: 17-11 ( 8-6 in conference), Lost in 2nd round of NCHSAA 4A Playoffs West Charlotte looks to be one of the top public school teams in the HoopState and after attending one practice it was easy to see why.  Despite missing a handful of contributors that are still playing football it was clear that West Charlotte with Florida State Commit and consensus top 40 player Patrick Williams...

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#PhenomOpenGymTour: Lincoln Charter School

2017-18 Record: 26-5 (10-0 in Conference) NCHSAA 1A Semi-Finalist Head Coach Bradley Gabriel is back with his Lincoln Charter squad that will be contending for their 2nd NCHSAA 1A title in the last three years.  Right as I walked into the gym, I sensed a level of expectation and intensity from Coach Gabriel onto his team featuring a bevy of unique prospects that will be playing in a fast paced,...

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Phenom Open Gym Tour: Quality Education Academy

Phenom Hoop Report traveled to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to cover Quality Education Academy. Coach Issac Pitts has accumulated a bevy of talent and will have suitors at every level checking out his 2018-19 team. One thing is for certain, Coach Pitts is a no nonsense coach who demands attention and effort. His “tough love” approach helps prepare his players for the next level, not...

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Open Gym Tour: Oak Hill Academy vs. Hargrave Military

Open Gym Tour: Oak Hill vs. Hargrave Post Grad   Phenom Hoop Report travelled to picturesque Surry Central High School located in the heart of the North Carolina wine industry. With a cool crisp nip in the air, it’s the start of another high school basketball season and what better way to start it off with the annual scrimmage game between Oak Hill Academy and Hargrave Post Grad. While the...

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Phenom’s Open Gym Tour — GRACE Christian (Cary, NC)

GRACE Christian NCISAA 3A Eastern Plains Conference 2017-18: 11-17 (6-7) GRACE Christian moves up to the 3A Division while also losing its Top 3 scorers from last season. On the outside looking in, that sounds like a disastrous scenario. Well Head Coach Deshannon Morris has had a couple of transfers come and, a freshman move up and a rising senior who had a great summer. GRACE Christian will...

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Phenom Open Gym Tour: Mount Pleasant High School (Mount Pleasant, NC)

Mount Pleasant High School (Mount Pleasant, NC), NCHSAA 2A, 2017-18 record: 17-10 (7-3 In Conference) (P.S. 3rd most wins in school history) I made my way over to Mount Pleasant High School on Wednesday night to watch them at their open gym and walked away thoroughly impressed with the direction of their young program.  They feature a unique blend of size and skill that should have them slotted...

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Phenom Open Gym Tour: Calvary Day School

Phenom’s Open Gym Tour — Calvary Day School (Winston-Salem, NC) By James Blackburn 2017-18 Record: 15-15 Coach Joe Rybak entering his 11th year coaching at Calvary is looking forward to coaching this year’s team that is moving into the 3A after playing in the 2A division in the past. This could be one of his most talented teams yet with senior leadership, good size, and depth. The team has 5...

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Open Gym Tour: Northwood Temple

6’4 2019 Josh Nickelberry Josh Nickelberry, an ESPN 4-Star who recently committed to the Louisville Cardinals under newly employed head coach Chris Mack, is as-advertised! Nickelberry as we all know, possess a smooth shooting stroke and can score in bunches whether in transition or in the half court. The biggest challenge for Nickelberry this year will be transitioning into an on-ball guard and...

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Open Gym Tour: Northside Christian

Phenom Hoop Report travelled to Charlotte, North Carolina to cover Northside Christian open gym. Coach Erasto Hatchett is in his third year at Northside Christian. After a 17-12 record last season, coach Hatchell has a lot to be excited about. He has a combination of youth, length, athleticism and enthusiasm. When he took over the program, there was very little left in the cupboard with...

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Open Gym Tour: North Mecklenburg High School

Phenom Hoop Report travelled to Huntersville, North Carolina to cover North Mecklenburg open gym. When one thinks of North Meck basketball, coach Duane Lewis comes to mind. He’s the fixture of the program. He attended and played at  North Meck. He has coached at North Meck for 20 years and has built a perennial powerhouse program. Last year, North Meck finished 27-2 and was returning the nucleus...

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Open Gym Tour: Moravian Prep

Phenom Hoop Report travelled to Lenoir, North Carolina to cover Moravian Prep high school and prep team’s open gym. This is the first time Moravian Prep has instituted a high school team and coach Jeremy Ellis and Antonio Lowe have a lot to be excited about. They have a nice blend of collegiate prospects and college coaches from D1, D2, and D3 coaches have all made the trek to Moravian Prep....

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#PhenomOpenGymTour: Liberty Heights Athletic Institute

Huge S/O to Coach Wright and his staff for allowing me to come thru and check out a super talented group featuring scholarship level talent from top to bottom.  The demand for excellence, energy, communication, and mental awareness from this staff is something to behold.  Yesterday, it was announced that 6’7 Alabama Commit Juwan Gary will be playing his senior season with this group,...

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#PhenomOpenGymTour: United Faith Christian Academy

2017-18 Record: 21-11 (NCISAA 1A Semi-Finalist) Colleges in Attendance: Boston University Returning Contributors: Bryson Canty, Jason Thompson, Sam Wolfe, Chris Hill Fresh Faces: Shakeel Moore, Marcus Henderson, AJ Morris, Anjay Cortez Initial Reaction: Upon my arrival at United Faith I quickly gained an appreciation for the efficiency in which the coaching staff ran their workouts.  Not a...

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BJ Mack commits to South Florida

What a difference a day makes! On Monday at Oak Hill open gym, we spoke to 6’8 senior BJ Mack about his two official visits, South Florida and East Carolina. At that time, he stated official visits to DePaul and Arkansas would take place in October. However, with head coach Brian Gregory and assistant coach Larry Dixon front and center, Mack decided on Tuesday to pull the trigger and...

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Phenom’s Open Gym Tour: Oak Hill Academy

For the sixth consecutive year, Phenom Hoop Report travelled up to Oak Hill the first Monday of the fall NCAA viewing period. Legendary coach Steve Smith is entering his 34th season at Oak Hill. Coach Smith has complied an unprecedented 1118-72 record. In other words, Coach Smith has won 94% of his games and has won nine national high school championships. Year after year, Oak Hill is competing...

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